Fibromyalgia and Running

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Many years ago, I received the diagnosis of “Fibromyalgia-Like symptoms”. Fibromyalgia doesn’t have a definitive diagnosis, so the diagnosis can be a bit tricky. But, that is a different blog… Over the past few years, I have found a number of things that work well for me, and allow me to do what I love, namely trail running. I am not a medical professional nor is any of the following to be considered as medical advice. However, I would like to share some of the tips and tricks I have learned over the years.

Can I run with Fibromyalgia? For me, the answer is yes. But, I find that road running creates more problems while trail running seems to be a great fit. Trail running is more varied with the footfall and the surface is softer, causing less impact on the body. And, trail running is just much more fun. But, that’s a subject for yet another blog.

In addition to exclusively running trails, I’ve found a few other things that help keep me pain free, avoiding those nasty flare-up periods where pain, fatigue, and mental fog abound. Whether you struggle with Fibromyalgia, other physical pain, or really anything, maybe they will help you.

1. Sleep – Rest is so very important for any training athlete. But even more so for those with additional health issues. Try to promote restful sleep by avoiding sugar, even from fruit, or other stimulants like caffeine prior to bed.

2. Diet – We all know the benefits of a healthy diet. But, certain foods can be huge triggers for pain and finding those triggers and eliminating them can reap major benefits. Since discovering that I was Gluten Intolerant (now 3 generations of my family have made the same discovery), I’ve virtually eliminated the migraines that plagued me on a daily basis.

3. Run Timing – This one is new for me. By recently playing around with the timing of my runs, I discovered that I do best when I run at night. After stressing and fatiguing my body, sleeping soon after keeps my pain in check by allowing my body to shut down. Running in the morning meant sitting for hours on end at my desk, hunched over, and triggering my personal hot spots- the neck area.

4. Hydration – This one probably goes without saying, but proper hydration affects so many areas of our lives and health.

5. Cross-training – I have to be very careful with cross-training because any workout that involves the arms and upper body can trigger a flare-up. Recently, I’ve been able to add some light lower body strength training in, as well as a few standing ab workouts. There are some wonderful instructors on YouTube with great standing ab videos that allow you to train this crucial area, without putting strain and stress on your neck.

6. Listen to your body – This is the most important one. Some days, it may just not be in the cards to go for a run. Other days, mild pain may be eliminated by getting your blood flowing. It’s important to listen to your body and find what works best for you.

Now that I have shared what works best for me, I hope that you will explore areas where you can remain fit and active while working within the confines of whatever challenge you may be facing.

~ Step Lively My Friends

*This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be construed as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other person has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.

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